primary method of identifying rank was the Schulterklappen (shoulder
strap). For men under the rank of Unteroffizier, the straps were plain
with only the Waffenfarbe (arm-of service piping) on them, and for
Gefreiters, there was a chevron patch in the middle of the left sleeve.
For NCOs, a border of Tresse (a type of flat ribbon; early war was
generally shiny silver, grey subdued Tresse was introduced later on)
was added to the edge of the collar and around the edge of the
Schulterklappen. For the various grades of NCOs, the collar Tresse
stayed the same, but the pattern on the straps and number of pips
varied. For officers, the Tresse was removed from the collar but the
Litzen (collar patches) became larger and fancier, with the
arm-of-service color in them. The straps were composed of silver braid,
and pips were added, just as with the NCO ranks.
Sleeve insignia for Mannschaften (Grades